Bakare, who didn’t specify whether he would be running for president in the 2023 elections, said he believed he still has a quota to contribute to the development of the nation.
The cleric spoke on Tuesday night in an Instagram Live Chat with popular journalist, Dele Momodu, monitored by The PUNCH.
Bakare was the running mate to Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in the 2011 presidential election. The duo, which ran under the banner of the Congress for Progressive Change, lost to former President Goodluck Jonathan and his deputy, Namadi Sambo of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Buhari later ran again and won in 2015 with Yemi Osinbajo under the banner of the All Progressives Congress. Change was the mantra of the ruling party in 2015.
But Bakare said, “Rather than getting the change, it appears that we have been shortchanged.”
The cleric said he has not given up on his presidential ambition but added that his was not an inordinate ambition.
He said, “In an ideal situation, every Nigerian is entitled to his or her dream and we must find a way of liberating that office that any Nigerian who desires to be in the office or to be the president of Nigeria should be at liberty to do so.
“I express my own desire but it is not any inordinate ambition and it is not that I must kill and maim in order to get there. I have something to offer my country, God giving me the opportunity and the people saying so, I desire to still contribute my meaningful quota to the development of my nation. It is a dream I have had as a little boy and it has never left me but I am not pushing neither am I forcing myself on people.
“Remember something about the presidency in Nigeria, those who pursue it too hard hardly get it, those who put everything into it hardly get it and those who are qualified like MKO, he won the election, they didn’t let him get it. Chief Obafemi Awolowo has been described as the best president Nigeria never had.
“I will tell you it was the time Muhammadu Buhari stood publicly and said I will no longer offer myself for public service; it was after that that he got it. So, there is no inordinate ambition here that it must happen at all cost. If God gives me the opportunity, I will serve my nation but may the best candidate win in the net election and may God bring the best and brightest candidate emerge and steer the ship of our nation.”
Bakare also said he did not sign any agreement with Buhari, indicating that the latter would hand over power to him in 2023.
“As a servant of God the Most High, President Buhari and I have never discussed it not once. I say that publicly today and if anybody has anything to the contrary, he can bring it to the open. We have never said it. He had never said to me, I confide in you, you are the man I would, no, not once, I express my own desire.
“And if you care to know, this is not the first time I said it. I said it in Lisabi Grammar School in 1973. Ask my classmates, they will tell you I said one day, I will be the president of Nigeria.
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The cleric further said himself and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State have not sat down to sign a pact to run a joint ticket in the 2023 presidential election.
Bakare said the next president of Nigeria could come from the South-East geopolitical zone but the candidate must join a major political party because politics is about numbers.